COVID-19 Status update New Zealand
March 6, 2020
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July 6, 2020
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Here is an update on further Immigration NZ changes this week. So much is changing rapidly.

If you are in NZ on a temporary visaand would like to stay, let us have the opportunity to assess what is possible before further regulations change which could cut you out.Exceptions to the border closure have strict requirements

You really need to have exceptional circumstances to be granted a border exception to enter this country.  Immigration NZ advise that they had declined 1,976 Expressions of Interest and just 369 met the criteria and have been invited to apply for a visa. A total of 2,406 application have been received so far.

Skilled Migrant Category selections deferred

The fortnightly selection of Expression of Interest applications from the Skilled Migrant Category pool will be deferred until further notice due to the difficulty in processing beyond the selection. This is due to obtaining the required documents and evidence to submit an application and Immigration NZ’s limited visa processing capacity during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Parent Category selections deferred

The first draw for the new parent category was scheduled to take place in May 2020. This has also now been deferred until further notice due to the current situation. All those who submitted an Expression of Interest for the Parent Category will be notified about the changes.

 Recognised Seasonal Employer workers can move location subject to approval

Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) employees are doing essential work for the horticulture / viticulture industry. RSE workers may be required to move to where labour is needed to support continued food production. INZ and the Labour Inspectorate must give approval before any worker is relocated. Approved workers will have an authorised letter for their travel. Any movement of RSE workers will need to be carefully managed by their employer. The employer is fully responsible for the arrangement and safety of their workers while in transit.

Further update on definition of work for supermarket and essential health workers.

  • Supermarket workers: Interim visa holders (who held a student or work visa immediately prior to the interim) and were an employee of a supermarket on 23 March 2020, no longer have restrictions on hours and tasks associated with the supply of goods from supermarket. This is in place from 25 March 2020 to 25 April 2020.
  • Health workers: Student visa holders, or interim visa holder (who held a student visa immediately prior to the interim visa), as part of their employment as an essential health worker (provided that the employment was held on 3 April 2020) can now work full-time in essential health care roles. This is in place from 3 April 2020 to 3 July 2020.

Visas expiring between 2 April and 9 July have been extended

All those whose visas were expiring between 2 April and 9 July have now automatically been extended. You should have received an email from INZ confirming the extension.If you were holding a temporary work visa which was expiring during this period, do not leave until September before lodging a new application. Changes are occurring and it is available to seek professional advice.

Further details about what is considered an Essential business during this time can be found here:

Essential Businesses – List and Definitions | Unite against COVID-19
Essential businesses during Alert Level 4. Essential businesses, and those that support them, will continue to provide the necessities of life for everyone in New Zealand during Alert Level 4.. This means food, medicine, healthcare, energy, fuel, waste-removal, internet and financial support will continue to be available.covid19.govt.nz

CEO
June Ranson